Today is: 
26 September 2020 

Eat right for your type


issue 26 -March/ April 2015
It is said ‘we are what we eat’. However according to Dr D’Adamo’s theory our blood group actually determines what we should eat. Laleh Lohrasbi puts his theory under the microscope

We are repeatedly told that if we have our five daily fruits and vegetables, eat plenty of omega 3 fish, salads, plenty of dairy products and do regular exercise, our health will be fine. But how is it that we still feel exhausted, have digestion problems and cannot lose weight? Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo, a naturopathic physician, believes he knows the answer. Years ago Dr D’Adamo‘s controversial article ‘Eat Right For Your Type’ was published in the NY Times. It claimed that blood types play a major part in determining the appropriate diet for us. D’Adamo believes there is a direct chemical reaction between blood and our food intake. Since his ideas came to light many dieticians and physicians have tried to evaluate D’Adamo’s theory, with diverse outcomes. Blood is made up of the same elements in all individuals, but not everybody has the same blood characteristics. In fact the presence or absence of antigens – a substance that can trigger an immune response - creates different blood types or groups such as (A, B, AB and O). Blood is made up of red blood cells (RBC), white blood cells (WBC), platelets and a liquid called plasma. On the surface of the red blood cells which carry oxygen through the body and remove carbon dioxide, there are certain antigens or proteins which vary from one blood group to the other. Antibodies which are found in plasma recognise anything foreign in the body and alert the immune system so that it can destroy it. As the red cells of different blood types have specific antigens then antibodies found in the plasma only recognise that specific antigen as safe and all other types as foreign elements. This sends a signal to the immune system to eliminate the foreign substances. That is why knowing our correct blood group is of utmost importance because in case a blood transfusion is needed, using even one unit of incompatible blood will cause a severe reaction, potentially leading to renal failure, shock, and even death. What Dr. D’Ádamo suggests about food follows the same theory. He states that lectins - certain kind of proteins found in food - can act as antibodies and interact with different kinds of blood group antigens which can be harmful to the body. So it is important for each individual to consume foods containing lectins compatible with his or her blood type. Lectins have agglutinating (clotting) properties that affect our blood. So when we consume food containing protein, lectins that are incompatible with our blood type antigen, the lectins target an organ or bodily system and begin to clot blood cells in that area. D’Adamo claims that each blood group has unique dietary recommendations. For example:
Blood group O
This blood group is described as the hunter. He recommends that those of this blood group consume a higher protein diet, heavy on lean meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables, and light on grains, beans, and dairy. D’Adamo also recommends various supplements to help with tummy troubles and other issues. He claims this group is the first blood type to have originated 30,000 years ago, although other research indicates that blood type A is actually the oldest.
Blood group A
D’Adamo believes the group A, or the agrarian or cultivator, dates from the dawn of agriculture, about 20,000 years ago. He claims that since this blood type group have a sensitive immune system individuals with this blood group should have a vegetable based diet such as a meat-free diet based on fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains - ideally, organic and fresh.
Blood group B
This group is called the nomad by D’Adamo, who dates its origins to 10,000 years ago. He states that this type is associated with a strong immune system and a flexible digestive system. He also asserts that people of blood type B are the only people able to thrive on dairy products; Blood group B should avoid corn, wheat, lentils, tomatoes, peanuts, and sesame seeds. Chicken meat is also problematic.He encourages the individuals with this blood group to eat green vegetables, eggs, certain meats, and low-fat dairy products.
Blood group AB
AB group is described by D’Adamo as the enigma; he believes it to be the most recently evolved type and to have arrived less than 1,000 years ago. In terms of dietary needs, he treats this group as an intermediate between blood types A and B. Food for this group type recommended by D’Adamo includes tofu, seafood, dairy, and green vegetables. He says people with type AB blood tend to have low levels of stomach acid so they should avoid caffeine and smoking.
Dr D’Adamo believes that eating proper food according to our blood type is not only useful in maintaining good health but it also helps in losing weight and preventing diseases. For example D’Adamo states that wrong lectins will affect our gastro intestinal system and will cause bloating, slowing down the rate of food metabolism, which consequently prevents the calories from burning efficiently for energy, compromising the production of insulin, upsetting hormonal balance, causing water retention, thyroid disorders and many other problems. So by simply replacing the key weight-gaining foods in our diet, we can lose weight and at the same time gain more energy.
D’Adamo’s theory has many opponents who believe there is not enough scientific evidence to support his ideas. One of the most common criticisms is in relation to weight loss. It is said the way an individual responds to any diet has absolutely nothing to do with that individual’s blood type and instead has everything to do with their ability to stick to a sensible low-carbohydrate diet and the reason why D’Adamo’s suggested diets usually help in losing weight is because they are based on proteins, seafood and vegetables.
On the other hand there are those who follow Dr D’Adamo’s theory to the letter. Among them are famous people such as Tommy Hilfiger, the fashion designer, who believes that D’Amato “is an amazing healer with the most advanced natural healing methods incorporating age-old techniques in a very thoughtful way!”
I suppose time will show if D’Amato’s recommendations and theory has what it takes to help a generation of overweight individuals who are constantly on the lookout for a type of diet that will help them lose weight. •
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